YOUNG photographers and film-makers have had their work recognised by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), Patricia Lewsley, at a prize giving event this week.
Children and young people from across Northern Ireland were asked last summer to show the Commissioner what is good or bad about play where they live.
The photographs and videos submitted have helped NICCY tell Government want it needs to do to make play and leisure better for all children and young people in Northern Ireland, as part of the ongoing Make it Right campaign.
Joseph Fitzpatrick, 15 and from the Divis Youth Project, Belfast, was awarded the top prize for his photograph. The judges felt his photograph reflected both the positive aspects of play as well as highlighting the challenges.
Joseph, said: “I wasn’t sure what the other entries in the competition would be like, but I’m really glad that my photograph won. The photograph is of a mural where I live because I think it is really important to my area. It shows lots of different things and tries to inspire young people to take the right road instead of the wrong one.”
Sam Madden, 14, from Lisburn, scooped the top prize for his video entry. The judges felt it was a well produced video which conveyed the problems of play and leisure in his area.
Sam, said: “There are not very many places to play football where I live, which is why I wanted to make a video highlighting this. I used lots of clips of people playing football in their garden or on the road, but wanted to get across that we need a better playing field near where we live. I thought the other videos would probably win, but I’m really happy that I won. If I get a chance I am going to make more videos in my spare time as I really enjoy it.”
Gerard Murphy, 11, a member of Belfast Computer Clubhouse, also picked up a special award for the technical skill behind his photograph.
Gerard said: “I like skateboarding in my spare time, so really wanted to take a photograph of it. I’m really glad that a new skate park has recently opened where I live and I hope that there will be lots more opening across Northern Ireland soon.”
More than 70 children and young people submitted entries to the ‘Here we are… Nowhere’ competition and some of the entries will be exhibited this weekend, Sunday 20 June at the Ulster Museum as part of the Play Day NICCY is hosting.
The judging panel consisted of Charlotte Higgins of NICCY Youth Panel, Patricia Lewsley, Marlene Kinghan – head of Communications and Participation at NICCY, and Peter ‘Magic’ Johnston of the 15 Second Film Festival.